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Entitlement

So, I ran across this interview with Glenn Beck today.  I'm a fan of Glenn Beck.  He definitely has a lot of things to say that make a lot of sense, and some of the things he says in this interview do make a lot of sense.  I've had people tell me that Americans deserve free health care ("free" as in "socialized").  I've had people tell me that medical treatment is a right, that everyone is entitled to.

I agree that it certainly seems unfair to say that one person gets medical treatment because they have enough money for it and another person doesn't because they don't.  I agree that everyone has a right to live--a right to life.  But, I'm not so sure about the claim that medical treatment is a right.  Where do we draw the line?  Is plastic surgery a right?  Is only the treatment required to keep someone alive a right, but anything above that is a privilege?  Does everyone have the right to food anytime they're hungry?  Does everyone have a right to live in a single-family house?  Does everyone have the right to wear designer clothes?  Does everyone have a right to own their own business?

I get really wary when people tell me that health care is a right.  I think one of the biggest problems with our society is greed.  Doctors are greedy because they want to get rich off of helping other people with their medical problems.  Lawyers are greedy because they want to sue doctors and take their money.  Patients are greedy because they want free medical treatment, or they want to sue the doctor for malpractice.  Insurance companies are greedy because they want to pay the minimal amount they can get away with in claims, and cover the least amount of stuff they can.  Everyone wants their piece of the pie.  And all of this greed drives medical costs up and up.  There are many factors that make medical costs so expensive--that could be a whole blog in itself.  But, I believe that it all boils down to greed.

But, back to the video.  I agree with the principles of responsibility being taught in the interview.  I believe that people should be rewarded for good contributions to society.  There is value in teaching children that they need to manage their own money.  There are so many good principles being taught in this video, that I think parents should teach their children.

One thing I disagree with was a very brief comment near the beginning of the clip that alluded to the Occupy Wall Street movement.  I concede that there probably are people participating in that movement that are doing so out of entitlement--the "I deserve to make more money" kind of mentality.  This is just the same greed that the fat cats on Wall Street are guilty of.  However, the way I see it, there is a lot of corruption on Wall Street, and in the government--and I believe that all that corruption is really all the same--and the protest is against that corruption, not just a childish sense of entitlement.

The Federal Reserve is not a government institution.  It is a private cartel of banks, and it is allowed to print money.  In fact, it is the only entity that is legally allowed to print money.  If anyone else were to print money--including the government itself--it would be considered counterfeit money.  Tell me how that makes sense.  They have way too much power.  They can raise and lower interest rates of banks nationwide.  Is that not scary?  What's the worst part?  They're never audited.  We don't know what goes on at the Federal Reserve because they don't have to answer to the public--remember, they're a private institution.  So, I think there's legitimate concern for the economic policy of our country, and that the protest against Wall Street goes much deeper than a mere immature "Give me my allowance" temper tantrum.

So, in summary, I believe that the principle of personal responsibility should win out over the socialist mentality of "the world owes it to me".  I believe that this selfish, greedy attitude is what has got us into this big mess we're in--where medical costs are ridiculously high, the rich are ridiculously rich and the bulk of Americans are poor.  And I believe that we need to improve our society soon if we want to avoid crisis--bankruptcy, riots, who knows.

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